News

(03-May-2016 / Phnom Penh Post)

Minister intervenes in decades-long Tbong Khmum land dispute Seemingly making good on promises of reform, newly appointed Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara appears to have intervened in a nearly 20-year-old land dispute on behalf of 16 families in Tbong Khmum province’s Suong town, who on Sunday wrote a letter to thank him.

According to the letter, the villagers had been locked in a land dispute with the Vihea To Tem pagoda, which they claimed encroached on property that they had occupied – albeit without land titles – for decades. However, the dispute was swiftly resolved after Sophara visited the area and reviewed the documents, they said.

(03-May-2016 / Phnom Penh Post)

Political analyst Virak summonsed to court Political commentator Ou Virak has been summonsed to appear at Phnom Penh Municipal Court on May 12 in relation to a defamation suit filed by Cambodian People’s Party spokesman Sok Eysan last week.

Virak, who yesterday said he had yet to receive the summons and had only seen a copy of it in the media, said the summons should have been issued only after Eysan, who will appear before the court on Friday, had testified and the complaint was deemed a valid case.

(03-May-2016 / Phnom Penh Post)

LANGO looming in Adhoc rearview With the screws tightening on Adhoc, pro-government NGOs are calling for the government to use the newly enacted NGO Law to punish the rights group and other organisations caught up in the Kem Sokha mistress scandal using a provision that can be used to shut down civil society groups.

The Cambodian Federation for Human Rights and Development (CFHRAD) and the Association of Youth for State Reform (AYFSR) argue that Adhoc and a UN staffer violated Article 24 of the controversial Law on Non-Government Organisations and Associations (LANGO), which stipulates NGOs should be politically “neutral”.

(03-May-2016 / Phnom Penh Post)

Rights workers, two others ‘bribed witness’, court says; UN holds firm The Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday sent four Adhoc staffers to Prey Sar prison and an election official to Phnom Penh’s PJ correctional facility after charging them with bribing a witness in the scandal surrounding CNRP acting president Kem Sokha and an alleged mistress.

The four Adhoc staffers – Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan, Nay Vanda and Lem Mony – were charged by investigating judge Theam Chanpiseth for bribing a witness under Article 548 of the Criminal Code. Ny Chakrya, a former Adhoc official and National Election Committee deputy secretary-general, and Sally Soen, an employee with the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), were charged as accomplices under articles 29 and 548.

(03-May-2016 / Cambodia Daily)

UN, Adhoc Staff Charged Over Sex Scandal Four senior officers from local rights group Adhoc and a former officer who now works for the National Election Committee (NEC) were imprisoned on Monday on bribery charges over a sex scandal involving deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha.

U.N. official Sally Soen was charged in absentia as an accomplice after failing to present himself for questioning.

(02-May-2016 / Cambodia Daily)

On Labor Day, One March Abandoned, Another Improvised About 2,000 workers in Phnom Penh on Sunday defied a government ban on celebrating International Labor Day with a march by getting as close as they could to the National Assembly, where they called for higher wages and changes to the newly approved Trade Union Law.

(30-April-2016 / Cambodia Daily)

Government Slammed for Arrests of NGO Officers Four senior officials of local rights group Adhoc and a Na­tion­al Election Committee (NEC) official were arrested by the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) on Thurs­day night over allegations that they instructed an alleged mistress of deputy opposition leader Kem Sokha to deny their affair.

(29-April-2016 / Khmertimeskh)

Land Dispute with Well-connected Company Drags on Thirty-four people gathered in front of the Kampong Chhnang provincial hall yesterday morning to submit a petition demanding a solution to their decade-long dispute with the politically-connected KDC International company.

The company is owned by the wife of Mines Minister Suy Sem, Chea Kheng.

(29-April-2016 / Phnom Penh Post)

Coming out: Film places ‘ladyboys’ at the fore Filmmaker Sok Visal’s new feature flips the script on traditional portrayals of LGBT characters in Cambodian cinema. Not because of some rights agenda, he says, but just to tell a human – and entertaining – story.

When actress and entertainer Poppy – born Leang Sothea – found herself in rural Kampong Chhnang last October on the set of her latest film, Poppy Goes to Hollywood, the villagers already knew her as “Miss Poppy”.

(29-April-2016 / Khmertimeskh)

‘Perverse’ Watchdog Needs a Leash: NGOs Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) officials and anti-terrorism police continued to grill rights workers for a second day yesterday, following a marathon session on Wednesday that lasted until 11 pm over allegations they told the alleged mistress of opposition leader Kem Sokha, Khom Chandaraty (also known as Srey Mom), to lie about their relationship to police.

Three rights workers – Ny Sokha, Yi Soksan and Nai Vonda – were brought back to the ACU offices at 8 am yesterday for further questioning along with three new ones: Adhoc’s Lim Mony, National Election Committee deputy secretary-general Ny Chakrya and Silaka director Thida Khus. The ACU tried to bring in UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights officer Sally Soen, but Mr. Soen has immunity as a UN employee. Ms. Khus said she spent three hours at the ACU, 40 minutes of which were spent in the interrogation room, before being allowed to leave. The other five were still at the ACU late last night and according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity, they were to be detained overnight.